Full Moon Sunset Herb Walk in Ojai with Lanny Kaufer on Sunday, October 13, 2019

On Sunday evening, October 13, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., Ojai native plant educator Lanny Kaufer will lead a plant identification Full Moon Sunset Herb Walk to a vista point above the Ojai Valley where the group can watch the sun set at 6:27 p.m. and the moon rise at 6:47 p.m. After witnessing this special full moon event participants are invited to enjoy an “after-party” at Ojai Valley Brewery and Azu Restaurant where brewmaster Jeremy Haffner crafts beers with the same local native plants they just visited.

On September 24, 2019, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution proclaiming the Second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Ventura County, joining 130 other cities, counties and states who have taken that action. In honor of the plant knowledge and nature wisdom held by Native Americans, Kaufer is dedicating this Herb Walk to Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, October 14. Chumash elder Patrick Tumamait will join Kaufer to lead his family’s Welcoming Song, passed down to him by his father Vincent Tumamait. A portion of proceeds from the walk will go to the Barbareño/Ventureño Band of Mission Indians (Chumash). 

After registering online, those participating will meet at the Park-and-Ride lot in downtown Ojai between 4:30 and 4:45 p.m. and carpool to the trailhead to minimize the crowded parking situation there. Then they will walk about 1 mile to the vista point, stopping along the way to meet some valuable native plants including Coastal Sagebrush, Hollyleaf Cherry, Purple Sage and Toyon. After witnessing the rising of the moon and setting of the sun, the group will walk back to the trailhead by remaining daylight, moonlight, and flashlight, returning to the Park-and-Ride by 8:00 p.m. 

From there all attendees are invited to join Lanny and his wife Rondia across the street for beverages, appetizers or dinner at the combined Azu Restaurant and Ojai Valley Brewery where brewmaster Jeremy Haffner has created some delicious lager-style craft beers and ales using some of the same local plants found earlier on the trail. His brews change with the seasons and reflect the plants of Ojai. Three staples one is likely to find on his list any time of year are Sugar Bush IPA, brewed with wild local Ojai “Sugar Bush” Sumac; White Pixie Ale, brewed with Pixie tangerine zests and orchard blossoms; and an amazing Chaparral Ale flavored and bittered with White Sage, Black Sage, and local Sagebrush instead of the usual Hops.  Haffner describes it as “built to mimic the scent on Shelf Road.” Non-alcoholic offerings also change with the seasons and may include an Elderflower-Blackberry Spritzer.

Register now at HerbWalks.com by calling 805-646-6281. There is no pre-payment required for this walk, just a promise to let Kaufer know if your plans change. Registrants will receive a confirmation email with all necessary info a few days prior. No dogs or smoking, please.

Photo of August Full Moon Sunset Herb Walk by Samantha Hoapili

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